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Satellites in the VOCALS Field Campaign - Windows to the Universe

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Satellite images like this one help scientist on the VOCALS campaign. This picture shows patterns in clouds over the Southeastern Pacific Ocean.
Click on image for full size
Image Courtesy of the MODIS Science Team at NASA GSFC

Satellites in the VOCALS Field Campaign

Scientists use satellites in the VOCALS field campaign. They also gather data from instruments on ships and on airplanes. They put the data from the satellites, ships, and aircraft together to get a better idea of what's going on in the Southeast Pacific.

Satellites give VOCALS scientists lots of data about clouds and the atmosphere. Some satellites take pictures. The pictures show scientists where there are clouds and where the air is clear. Some satellites measure sunlight that bounces of clouds and back into space. Satellites also help scientists measure the wind and spot swarms of tiny aerosol particles. They also help scientist study water droplets in clouds.

Satellites also help measure things about the ocean. They tell us the temperature of the ocean and what ocean currents are like. They also measure the height of the ocean surface and even how much plankton is in the water! Scientists put these satellite measurements together with data gathered from ships.

Which satellites are used by VOCALS? There are a lot of them! Some of the main ones are from NASA. That includes the Terra, Aqua, CloudSat, and QuikSCAT satellites. There is also the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite, which is from NASA and JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency). There is also GOES-10, which is from NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). GOES stands for Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite.

Last modified September 22, 2008 by Randy Russell.

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